The role of planning in mediating conflicts involving tourism development and land access by local communities: The case of the Matutuine district
Nhampossa, Paulo Bento Gomes
The Role of Planning in mediating conflicts involving tourism development and land access by local communities in the Matutuine district, south of Mozambique, is the theme of this research report. The aim of the study was to analyse and understand how tourism development in a particular context, the Matutuine district, has impacted on the life of the local communities. Access to land and to the other natural resources as well as associated socio-economic aspects was explored. Present and proposed planning approaches and their role in minimising land use conflicts were also investigated. In order to address the research problem, the following research question has been proposed: Are the problems arising from the conflict of interest that involve tourism development and land access by local communities responsible for land degradation in the district? The following subsidiary questions have been proposed to assist in answering the main question: What type of land use conflicts exist in the district of Matutuine and how has tourism affected the local communities? Has tourism been beneficial to local communities in terms of land access, participation and tourism spin-offs? To what extent do land use conflicts influence land degradation and how does planning respond to this? After developing the theoretical and conceptual framework of the study, a combination of methods such as documentary analysis, sampling and interviews, participant observation and spatial observation was used to collect primary and secondary data under analysis. Data collection mainly focused on the main land use types and land use conflicts, participation of local communities in tourism development, socio-economic benefits that accrue from tourism development, land degradation and planning and management of tourism, land and the other natural resources. The resulting data and information were organised and analysed through out the chapters in order to answer the research questions. The research revealed that tourism development has not been beneficial to the local communities. Institutional fragmentation and overlapping of mandates, a lack of common understanding and enforcement of legislation, corruption, and a lack of capacity building and legal status of the local communities are the main reasons for a dysfunctional tourism system in the study area. In order to contribute for the management and resolution of land use conflicts in the study area, it is recommended that planning and planners should introduce new planning processes such as collaborative and communicative approaches, facilitation and mediation techniques as well adaptive processes to address power relations among stakeholders.
planning, tourism development, land access, local communities, conflicts, land degradation